How rare it is to exist without desiring more. I thought about this when I was on a recent walk with my 8-year-old son. The evening was perfect—the sun was setting, but still high enough to warm the late hour. I could see the sliver of our white moon floating in the still-bright blue sky. It had been raining for several days prior, and I was simultaneously glad for the reprieve and wishing it would last longer.
Lost in my thoughts, I felt a little hand slip into mine and squeeze. “I like spending time with you,” he said. This moment was enough for him. He desired nothing else. He was content to simply enjoy having his hand in mine.
Today’s psalm presents a similar image of contentedness. The psalmist doesn’t want great and wonderful things—not riches, not even more sunny days. In fact, the psalmist desires nothing. His soul is content next to God, like a weaned child with its mother (v. 2).
What an example this psalmist provides. When I think of God, I confess that my thoughts crawl to what God can or won’t do for me: God answered my prayer for this, God ignored my prayer for that. I walk under a beautiful sky, wanting more and fearing there will be less.
For the psalmist, the source of divine abundance is always within reach, perhaps even willing to provide just a bit more sustenance. But the soul can learn to be present and content. Next to God, the soul can smile and say simply, “I like spending time with you.”
How can we be more present with God and our surroundings?
God, help us learn how to be content just being near you. Amen.